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This is an update to my September 8, 2015 article about CSM Plumley.[1]  I can no longer defend someone like Plumley. 

CSM Plumley never jumped in combat in WWII, he was a Gliderman which is much more dangerous that jumping out of a plane but he had to lie about even that.  Plumley was not in Korea until 1972 which means he didn’t jump in Korea in 1950 or ’51 (that is on Galloway not Plumley).  All Galloway had to do was look at Plumley's records to see that.  Plumley has one Combat Infantryman's Badge not three. 

These are called facts backed up with documentation.  That Galloway still believes his own Obituary for Plumley proves that anything Galloway has ever written must be looked at as fiction as it pertains to his work with Plumley at LZ X-Ray.

These weren’t a few mistakes, by Plumley, they were willful falsification.  That Galloway still believes Plumley’s lies is sad to say the least.  

At the close of WWII Plumley had the following Awards and Decorations (and Citations) on his 53-55[2] & Service Record[3];

Purple Heart
EAME (European, African, Middle Eastern) (1 Silver Battle Star & 1 Bronze Battle Star)
Good Conduct Medal
The Bronze Arrowhead

Glider Badge
Presidential Unit Citation
Netherland Orange Lanyard|
French Fourragere Guerre
Belgium Fourragere
4 Overseas Service Bars
2 Service Stripes|
(Expert Badge W/Carbine Bar)
(Parachute Badge)

American Campaign Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
World War II Victory Medal

The two Awards; Expert Badge W/Carbine Bar & Parachute Badge listed on the 53-55 could not be verified when Plumley was called back into the Active Service in January of 1951 (only listed the Parachute Badge in 1951).[4]

Plumley left Active Duty September 23, 1945 and went into the Reserves.[5]  Plumley was called to active duty January 29, 1951.[6]  Sections 21 Medals and Section 9[7] listed different Awards and Badges (below in RED) than the 1945 53-55 (listed above).  Sections 21/9 should have matched up with his 53-55 Discharge in 1945 but didn’t.

Section 21 for Parachute Badge stated “not verified” and in Section 22 he had to qualify again.[8]  Yet in Section 9 it had him listed as Awarded the Senior Parachutist Badge May 1945.[9]

There were many problems with that his records.  First Plumley claimed that he went to Parachute School in 1942 for 8 Weeks, but only later in his military career did Plumley list that.[10]  Plumley also claimed he went to the 82nd Jump School in France between March 1, 1945 and March 11, 1945.[11]  Yet on his Service Record it was blank for Jump Record.[12]

Even if true he was not entitled to Parachute Pay as he was in the 320th Gli FA Bn which means he wasn’t on Jump Status.  Jump status is for a Parachute Unit and Plumley was Glider.  In Plumley’s Service Record between 1942 and 1945 and after he went to the 680th Gli FA Bn someone wrote in a different print and said he was entitled to Prcht Pay which wasn’t true.[13]  You get paid one of the other (parachute or glider) for payment, not both.

Plumley was Glider which meant he was an 82nd Airborne Division Glider, not an 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper.  This was the first official documentation showing that he had altering Army documentation by writing this (& Prcht Pay) (1945)[14].  When that was altered but it had to have been between 1945 and 1951.      

This is Plumley’s list in January of 1951;

(Parachute Badge) (Not Verified)
((Combat Infantryman Badge))
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
Purple Heart
EAME (European, African, Middle Eastern) (8 Bronze Service Stars)
((French Fourragere Guerre w/Palm))
French Fourragere Guerre
Belgium Fourragere
Netherland Orange Lanyard
((Bronze Star Medal))
Presidential Unit Citation
((Senior Parachutist Badge))

(Not entitled)

Not listed now
The Bronze Arrowhead
Good Conduct Medal (Missing two Citations, 2 and 3)
Glider Badge
4 Overseas Service Bars
2 Service Stripes
(Expert Badge W/Carbine Bar)

For the French Fourragere Guerre in Section 21 it has him listed with a Palm[15].  That is an Individual Award and there are no Orders to confirm that.  In the same Section he has the EAME (European, African, Middle Eastern) (1 Silver Battle Star & 1 Bronze Battle Star) listed as 8 Battle Stars.  That is wrong as well as he had 6, not 8.  Plumley’s Bronze Arrowhead was turned it into The Bronze Star between his 1945 53-55 and his 1951 Enlistment record.  Later Plumley would take the Silver Battle Star and turn that into a Silver Star Medal. 

(III. AWARD ELIGIBILITY Senior Parachutist:  served on jump status with an airborne unit or other organization authorized parachutists for a total of at least 24 months.)  Plumley was never eligible for the Senior Parachutist Badge.  Plumley was never on Jump Status for 24 months.  The Plumley lie started in the 1951 Enlistment just like the Bronze Star Medal listed and French Fourragere Guerre w/Palm listed above.   He has Senior Parachute Badge and that was impossible as mentioned many times he was in a Glider Unit his entire time between 1942 and 1948.    

The biggest lie is that he had the CIB (Combat Infantryman’s Badge) listed in Sections 21[16] and it said it came from his WWII 53-55 file[17].  That was never listed under the original 53-55 or Service Record[18].  This means Plumley altered his DD-214 when he went on active duty in 1951 because it wasn’t on the original 53-55. Plumley did not qualify because of his Branch of Service was Artillery in WWII.  The CIB is only for Infantry, not any other Branch of Service. 

When Plumley retired December 31, 1974 on his DD 214 he had 2 CIBs listed not three.  When Plumley was interviewed for the We Were Soldiers... book he said he had three CIBs by that time (early 1990s).   The Awards and Decorations Branch has Plumley listed as one, not three CIBs[19].  Plumley didn’t meet the criteria for WWII and wasn’t in Korea so his first and only CIB was in Vietnam.

Here is the other large lie; Plumley was not in Korea until 1972[20].  Plumley was never there during the 1950-1953 time period.  He was in Ft. Campbell for those years[21] and then Germany[22].  Why Galloway didn’t do his due diligence for Plumley I don’t know.  In the back of his book he has Plumley’s Awards and Decorations and quite a few of them are not true either.  I can only figure that Galloway looked up to Plumley as a father figure. 

The problem is that a large part of Plumley’s information in the book weren’t true as far as his Awards and Decorations.  That calls into question the entire book which is sad to say.  Even now Galloway could correct his mistake but he refuses to do that it seems.  To me this is a huge insult, especially to the family members of the men who were killed in Vietnam with the 7th Cavalry 1st Bn in November of 1965.

All of the records produced for this and my other Plumley article were from the NPRC (National Personnel Record Center) and the HRC ADC (Human Resources Command and the Awards and Decorations Branch) along with Morning Reports from NARA at St. Louis.

It’s been a while but this one is very important.  Plumley was a man who served with the 82nd Abn Div in WWII and with the 1st Cav Div in Vietnam.  He was prominently mentioned in both the book and movie adaptation for We Were Soldiers Once in 1992/2002.  Paratroopers look up to him because he told the world he had 5 Combat Jumps between WWII and Korea.  He had none, zero, nothing.  As mentioned in the previous article he was a Glider Man in WWII and wasn’t in Korea at all until 20 years after the fact.

His Headstone at Ft. Benning is another mistake[23].  His Headstone should read Silver Star & Bronze Star with OLC.  He has one Silver Star Medal & two Bronze Star Medals, (none for Valor)[24].  If a family members can substantiate other Awards please step forward and contact the Awards and Decorations Branch.   

Galloway is just as guilty in his own way.  If he had done his due diligence none of this would have happened.  Instead he played up Plumley in the book and especially in the movie. 

General Moore took Plumley at his word as Plumley had the CIB on his chest before the Vietnam deployment.  The one thing I can’t figure out is Plumley had 3 CIB’s on his chest not two.  Lt Col Moore (at that time) say the one CIB and that he got his second (in his mind) after the October 1965 battle but never asked Plumley later in life where the “3rd” CIB came from.  We will never know it seems.

General Moore in the After Action Reports and the IA DRANG VALLEY OPERATION[25] has Plumley mentioned how many times?  Once at the beginning of the After Action Report by Lt Col Moore.  Moore mentions different Officers and NCOs in the After Action Report but never mentions Plumley again.

Plumley received the Silver Star Medal for what he did and it was important.  But that wasn’t enough for someone like Plumley.  Plumley had to build himself up even more.  For Plumley to be seen wearing the Combat Infantryman’s Badge with the 3 CIB Badge at West Point in 2010 was disgusting[26].  Plumley knew what he was doing and didn’t care at all.

I tried to defend Plumley but after reading the original Awards and Decorations and Personnel Records for him I now know what he really was.  He’s Manoian but more savvy by far than Manoian.  Plumley was able to dupe the world for years but not anymore.  If a few people still love Plumley after reading the documentation then you are part of the problem in the world today.

Remember Plumley even lied on his Reserve intake it seems.  He wrote on his Arm of Service, Infantry (Para-Troops)[27].  Plumley was neither Infantry (Artillery) nor Paratrooper (Glider).

Brian N. Siddall

 

November 25, 2015

 

 


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